Career choice for newcomers: Which job suits me?

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Career choice and job change - topics that are no longer of interest only to young people who have finished school and are looking for a suitable course of study or apprenticeship position. Because: More and more people with professional experience are considering switching and asking themselves the question: "Which profession suits me?"

Best of HR –®

Here writes for you:


Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherConsultant and head of the Institute's job pictures Yourweb.


Occupation - but which?

Career starters, but also those switching, are spoiled for choice in Germany: In addition to 344 state-recognized professional training courses, there are currently around 12 courses and subjects. There are also countless in-service training courses.

Around 390 state and private universities compete for the favor of those willing to study, and there are always courses of study and further education. The latter often do not even have to be accredited or nominated, which makes the overview particularly difficult.

Again and again I notice that young people don't even know what career opportunities they have, and that they often don't even know what they want themselves. Because there are still enough young people who choose a training occupation or course of study.

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Many are involved in the career choice

More than one in four apprenticeship relationships are terminated upon completion, around a third of which are still in the trial period. In some (supposedly) popular apprenticeships such as cooks, the dropout rate is almost 50%.

And we also see enormously high drop-out rates of 28% on average in the Bachelor's area for the degree programs, as for the training occupations. At around 35%, this rate is almost twice as high at universities as at FHs at around 19%. Recruiting expert Joachim Diercks writes in a nutshell:

Confusing diversity, but hardly used.

Which profession suits me?

Best of HR® author Tom Diesbrock pointed out an elementary mistake that many people make when choosing a career: Instead of looking for a job that really interests them, they first orientate themselves on the offer.

This can also be seen from the fact that the right choice of profession is an important, albeit underestimated, topic in Germany and should be discussed in detail. Then medicine is studied, you know that, or law. Unusual ideas that make you reinvent your job are hard to come by. An approach that Diesbrock rightly calls the classic self-in-the-knee technique.

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The way to a dream job: keep your eyes open when choosing a career

The old saying "keep your eyes open when choosing a profession" still applies, but with the unmanageable offer it is difficult to direct your gaze in the right direction. Even at the graduation ceremony, 11% of all high school graduates have no idea what they want to do.

Barbara Knickrehm, career advisor for high school graduates at the Herford Employment Agency, advises keeping your eyes wide open when choosing a career, especially as a career starter and switchover. You should start with yourself first before you get confused by the many possibilities:

“Instead of surfing the internet haphazardly, the first question you should ask yourself is which topics and tasks are of particular interest to you, are particularly great fun and which give the impression that they are easy to handle. But you should also consider the assessments of your surroundings in your own considerations. ”

Advice can help with career planning: What do self-assessment procedures do?

A self-assessment center could help anyone who still does not get anywhere this way. This is not only partially mandatory at some universities, but there are also tools online for personal career choice.

If you don't trust the online tools, you can get career advice. Employment agencies offer such career advice free of charge for school leavers. For everyone else, there is a large army of private consultants and coaches who offer their support in finding a job and planning a career. Here it is important to separate the wheat from the chaff.

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The selection process begins: common mistakes when choosing a career

If you know what you want, you are already a big step ahead. Now begins the selection process in view of the large supply: Would you rather do an apprenticeship - or rather study?

Many people, as Tom Diesbrockauch complained, first do an apprenticeship and then ask themselves what they could do with it. Or even worse: When choosing your apprenticeship, you are guided by the offer - and not by what you actually want. This is a mistake!

2 checklists: prefer vocational training or study?

An equally common mistake is that school-leavers are initially focused on vocational training: they then earn money at the same time and the training seems to lead to success more quickly and more purposefully. But a university degree offers the best prospects in the long term.

Vocational training checklist: questioning your own wishes

If you are thinking about starting a vocational training or going to a vocational school instead of studying, you should critically question motives for this:

  • Is teaching, for example, begun only because one is uncertain in the choice of the study?
  • Are you hoping that training will give you more opportunities to start your career?
  • Or is it the prospect of financial independence that makes a decision for in-company training attractive?

Study checklist: Get an overview

Some of these "advantages" are losing weight in the face of new developments in universities. Bachelor's degree programs allow a university degree in six to seven semesters, a time that is comparable to vocational training. How to proceed with the selection:

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  • Narrowing down the selection: The number of dual study programs in which in-company training including payment is integrated into the course is also constantly increasing.
  • If, on the other hand, you want to find out which courses are available at which universities, you can get an overview in various online databases,
  • To do this, you should first narrow down the area of ​​study that interests you and differentiates you in your search - for example, for artistic-creative, humanities-linguistic, social science, natural science and technical subjects. In this way, you can focus your search more and more on a few subjects and colleges where they are offered.

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  1. Magdalena

    Am 55 J, female, married, 2 adult children, 3 cats, longtime experience as a sectarian. In less than a year, I wrote 542 applications and conducted 27 application interviews. I have to apply for Hartz IV in one month. What do you advise me?

  2. Alex

    It is true that there are more and more offers to form, especially in the form of study offers. In addition, there are always new ways to develop according to the actual occupation and its training, so that you have almost endless possibilities to move from one job to another, provided that it is located in a similar area. We are currently seeing this very strongly in the areas of health and social welfare.

    The opinion of Mr. Diesbrock, how one should orientate itself on the market, I do not quite share. Especially when you have studied like me, for example, Lehramt, because you like it very much, but then after a few years of studying said that you will get no job because simply no need for learning staff is available. At this moment, one is looking for a certain degree of certainty, which is not quite an exhilarating age. I can understand this idea, especially if one chooses his profession with regard to family planning, etc, or selects certain profession.

    One should already orientate which demand exists at all.
    first at the offer.

    • Simone Janson

      Hi Alex,
      it sounds reasonable what you say. And yet I have to say from my own experience that security thinking at least has never really worked with me.
      It was for me personally starting from a certain point financially more successful also heart projects to make, even if the reason against it, instead of everything stringently durchzuplanen. This is typeache, something orientate on the market does not hurt. But creativity, passion and ideas can inspire people and perhaps create a market where no one was before.
      Perhaps it must not be unconditionally the teaching profession, but coaching, perhaps there are similarly stored alternatives?


      • Alex

        Hello Simone,

        yes, of course this is true. I've done the same for you as you say. I studied sports and politics at Lehramt, and I have now turned to a bank education after the Bachelor's degree. However, I continue to expand my sports education in the field of rehasport and preventive sports, in order to continue to be pedagogical.

        I think it's a similar alternative that definitely has a future and I enjoy it too. I'm also doing an apprenticeship in the banking sector, which I'm very interested in. I don't really know how it works to split something, but I think if you do more of one thing in life, it is definitely an alternative to the conservative job description ...

        Best Regards

        • Simone Janson

          Hi Alex,
          It's not so bad to have different pillars that can perhaps complement each other - for example through different contacts. I'm just thinking of a friend who bakes cookies for companies and offers career counseling - and has a total of 5 jobs:

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  5. David Goebel

    finally an article proclaiming out-of-the-box.
    Today I find one thing: there was still no career at the beginning of my career.

    So I advise everyone: Recognize your strengths and find the place where you are the best problem solver.

    • Simone Janson

      Thank you. If you look more closely, a lot of people do something quite different from the beginning of their activity.

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